Sunday, February 11, 2007

"Have the media learned absolutely nothing from Iraq? It really appears that way." - Glenn Greenwald

The title, from this post by Glenn Greenwald, highlights our current dilemma here in the United States, as the Bush Administration works "in secret" to prepare a military air strike against Iran. I put in secret in quotes because, as Democracy Lover notes here, the foreign press is on this story with good, solid information, without the lying denials from American officials as "balance". We are in this strange place right now, where the New York Times prints stories that are Administration stenography, anonymously sourced, with almost no independent verification or evidence. As Eason Jordan writes:
After the bogus Iraq evidence debacle in 2002 and 2003 - allegations that led to war, tens of thousands of lives lost, and hundreds of billions of dollars spent - only a fool would accept as the gospel supposed evidence against another country that's presented by officials who insist on making their allegations anonymously.

We deserve better from the US government. We deserve better from the western news media.

"Only a fool" indeed. Of course, the Bush Administration doesn't really care whether they fool anyone or not. The plans go on, a third carrier battle group steams towards the Persian Gulf, and the media have become an echo chamber for Bush Administration lies. To quote St. Digby:
What could be more dangerous than having delusional megalomaniacs playing RISK at a time like this?
They lie as easily as they breathe.

It is past time for the mainstream press in the United States to get on this story and make us aware of the reality that we face a horrible choice - we confront the truth that a war is being prepared in our name, an air war that could very involve nuclear weapons being used (as the plans themselves are still "secret", there is no way to tell for sure, but the instability of these people should not allow us to rest easily on this subject), and take appropriate actions to stop it NOW; or we continue in our daze, arguing over toothless resolutions concerning Iraq, a lost cause if ever there was one, allowing Bush & Co. to move forward. I truly believe that the recent air strikes against Somalia were a test case; would we as a public rally to the President as he ordered military strikes outside Iraq? Would the press investigate them? Would Congress? As everyone has been silent on them, it would appear that, apart from any actual military success that may or may not have resulted, the Administration won that round.

This is not to say the US press is completely silent. Two articles in Newsweek, "Rumors of War" by Michael Hirsch and Maziar Bahari and "Doubts About Iran" by Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball are both thorough and disturbing. The problem is that two areticles, even in as prominent a publication as Newsweek hardly constitute a united front against the Administration's continued abuses, and the press's refusal to do anything other than enable the lying.

We need to repeat as often as possible, first to others, then to the press, what Democracy Lover said in the post linked above:
Bombing Iran would be a [sic] act of such utter stupidity that any remaining doubts about the insanity of thie adminstration would be laid to rest.

We need to rein them in - the Bush folks and their enablers in the press (discussed thoroughly by Glenn Greenwald here). We need to demand better, and more of the better. In order to stop them, we need facts, as much information as possible.

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